Submitted by Pamela Rose Ayers, Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools

Lesson Title:
Differentiating Types of Vocal Production

Grade Level or Course:
Kindergarten Music

Time Allotment:
Three thirty-minute class periods (at the beginning of the school year)

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the 2000 North Carolina Arts Education Standard Course
of Study and Grade Level Competencies, K-12:

  • 1.01-Recognize and demonstrate the difference between speaking and singing voices (and chanting);
  • 1.02-Match pitch within a developmentally appropriate range;
  • 1.03-Sing with correct posture;
  • 1.04-Respond to the cues of the conductor;
  • 1.05-Sing a variety of music.

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and Grade
Level Competencies, K-12
for other content areas:

Music: Identify body parts and range of motion;
English Language Arts: Use new vocabulary in own speech and writing;
Guidance: Demonstrate the ability to work independently, as well as the ability to work cooperatively with other students;
Healthful Living: Describe health risks for age group.

Lesson Objective(s):

  1. The learner will differentiate between speaking, chanting, and singing voices.
  2. The learner will demonstrate the differences between speaking, chanting, and singing voices.
  3. The learner will learn and demonstrate the differences between solo and chorus voices.
  4. The learner will become aware of their own vocal production and the need to protect his or her voice.

Materials/Equipment Needed:

CD Player; CD's of appropriate song literature Suggestions: "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed," "Down, Down Baby," "Head Shoulders Baby," "Hickory, Dickory Dock, "Candy Man, Salty Dog," "Cookie Jar," "Miss Mary Mack;"
A set of cards for each student: (1) picture of two people talking, (2) picture of cheerleader, (3) picture of group singing


Lesson Procedure: Lesson 1

  • Introduce concept of singing voice, talking voice, and chanting voice.
  • Have students echo each to the types of voices and choose the appropriate voice type for each.
  • Allow students to become the "teacher" or "leader" and have class echo the voice type presented by the student and again assign the correct name or label.
  • Give students concrete examples of singing, chanting, and speaking. Use normal conversation as an example of speaking. Use a cheerleader for an example of chanting. Use a recording that has both solo and choral voices for singing.
  • Choose a chant from the student text. Have the students echo each line or phrase? Ask the students what type of voice they used. If the students have trouble with distinguishing between the voices, relate the chant back to the examples given in number 3. Does the piece sound more like a cheerleader, singer or choir, or people talking to each other?
  • Following the same procedure, play examples of pieces that are only singing or a recording of an aural presentation of a story. Choose a piece at this time to represent only singing and teach the song to the children.
  • Choose a piece that is a mixed example and have students differentiate the parts that are spoken, chanted, or sung.
  • Conclude the lesson by giving each student a set of cards showing a cheerleader, singers, and people talking? Play examples or use your own examples of the three voices? Have students show the appropriate card for each voice.

Assessment: (see Assessment Item that aligns with this Lesson Plan)

  • Use the set of 3 cards to assess individual progress.
  • Use student examples of singing, chanting, and speaking (from step # 2) to aurally assess each student.

Lesson 2:

  • Review the concepts of speaking, singing and talking voices.
  • Have each student echo you and tell you what type of voice they used.
  • Review the songs for the previous week allowing students to identify the voice types.
  • Teach new examples/pieces of each voice type. Be sure that one of the examples includes a solo and chorus or call and response. Identify these musical terms and although the students are not reading yet, place the words from your word wall on the board along with the accompanying picture from the previous week.
  • Ask students for volunteers to sing the solo part from one of the pieces. Remind the rest of the class that they perform the part of the chorus. Note: When you begin having students singing in this manner, it sometimes becomes competitive. Even if it doesn't, this is an opportunity to explain how the vocal chords are a part of the body and how they work. Try to get children to understand that screaming and overly loud singing can cause damage to the vocal chords? Use the opportunity to describe and help children feel the position that promotes healthy and appropriate singing: shoulders down and relaxed, chin level (neither pointing up or down), and singing at the appropriate volume levels.
  • At this point encourage students to sing a familiar phrase of a song or create a phrase ("part" when referring to students) that the remainder of the class can echo.
  • During this time is a great opportunity to observe the understanding of the concept and also pitch matching. Record information in a log or grade book for future reference?
  • Conclude the lesson by a brief review using any of the techniques described above.

Assessment: (see Assessment Item that aligns with this Lesson Plan)

  • Using a rubric, record each child's progress by using 4 for mastering the concept.
  • Use a 3 when the student is right most of the time.
  • Use a 2 only when the child is occasionally right.
  • Use a 1 when the student cannot respond appropriately.

Lesson 3

  • Review the concept of speaking, singing, and chanting voices. Ask each child to demonstrate the concept at some point in the lesson. Be sure to record your results in your log or grade book as the lesson progresses from one activity to another.
  • Allow the children to choose their favorite chant and song to review. ("Candy Man, Salty Dog" is wonderful because of the numerous changes in vocal usage).
  • Teach a few new songs or chants. (Note: I try to use literature that can be used to start the concept that I will be teaching the following week. For example, I often follow this concept with steady beat? I will use the singing voice and add sticks so that greater variety is given and the opportunity is available for me to pre-assess student capability for the next week.)
  • Give students multiple opportunities to sing or chant alone.
  • As you see students who are using poor singing habits, address them individually.
  • Students can, if they are developmentally ready, listen to four examples and mark the correct examples on paper. For example provide pictures of the same cheerleader, singers, and people talking on paper. Have them circle the right answer as they listen.

Assessment: (see Assessment Item that aligns with this Lesson Plan)

  • Student written assessment.
  • Teacher observation and recording by rubric the ability level of the child understanding the concept.


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